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Who is eligible to become a Civil Party?
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Who does the ECCC consider to be a Victim?

Any person or legal entity who has suffered from physical, psychological, or material harm as a direct consequence of the crimes committed in Cambodia by the Democratic Kampuchea regime between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979 that are under the jurisdiction of the ECCC.

For example: if you were detained or tortured, if you suffered from forced starvation, if you were forced to leave your home and to work hard labour against your will; if your parents, grandparents, or other family members were killed, abducted, detained, or tortured; if you lost your house, your rice fields, your animals, or other property, you may be considered a Victim.

What part do Victims play in the ECCC?
Victims have the ability to file complaints before the ECCC, and they can also apply to become Civil Parties to the proceedings if they so wish. These rights are provided for under Cambodian Law in the Internal Rules of the ECCC.

Both complainants and Civil Parties may request that their identity and other personal information be kept confidential from the public, and from other parties to the proceedings. The judges will decide on all requests to keep information private.

Victims may also be asked by the judges or the parties to the proceedings (Co-Prosecutors, Charged Person / Accused, and Civil Parties) to testify as witnesses.

What is a Complainant?
Any person or legal entity who has useful information regarding the crimes of the Khmer Rouge under the jurisdiction of the ECCC can file a complaint by filling out the Victims Information Form and submitting it to the Victims Support Section (VSS). The information in the Complaint may then be used to help in the investigations. Complainants do not participate as parties in hearings, and they are not entitled to ask the Court for reparations. They may however be requested to give evidence or testify as witnesses.

What is a Civil Party?
Civil Parties are formal participants in the proceedings against those allegedly responsible for the crimes under investigation by the ECCC, and they enjoy rights broadly similar to the prosecution and the defence. Becoming a Civil Party not only gives Victims the right to actively participate in the proceedings, but it also allows Victims to ask the court for collective and moral reparations from the convicted persons.

 


 

Who is eligible to become a Civil Party?
In order to become a Civil Party, a Victim must be a natural (living) person or a legal entity who suffered physical, material or psychological harm as a direct consequence of at least one of the crimes alleged against the Charged Person.

What kind of rights do Civil Parties have?
Civil Parties have the right
-    To choose a legal representative (the VSS can assist in this);
-    To request the investigation of alleged crimes;
-    To request the judges to ask specific questions to the witnesses and the accused;
-    To ask the Court to take measures to respect their safety, well being, dignity and privacy in the course of their participation in the proceedings;
-    To request collective and moral reparations.

What kind of reparations can Civil Parties request?
If a defendant is found guilty, under the Internal Rules of the ECCC Civil Parties are able to ask the court to order reparations against the convicted person. The judges have determined that individual financial compensation will not be possible, however they do have the power to award what are called “collective and moral reparations”. In this context, “collective” means that the court is only able to order reparations that benefit Civil Parties as a group or that benefit groups of Victims or Cambodian society. The term “moral” reparations in this context refers to the specific type of reparations that the court is able to order. “Moral” reparations are reparations that are more symbolic than they are material or economic.
Examples of “collective and moral reparations” could be: orders to publish the court’s judgment in the mass media at the expense of the convicted person; orders to fund non-profit services or other activities that aim to benefit Victims; or the creation of a memorial. The Victims Information Form gives people who are applying to become Civil Parties the opportunity to propose the type of collective and moral reparations that they would like the court to order.

When should people apply?
The deadline for the submission of Civil Party applications in both Case 1 and 2 has expired. Further cases have been opened, but no public information has yet been made available on these investigations.

Please note that only Civil Party applications that are complete will be admitted by the judges.

To be complete, you must include the following information:
-    Names of the Victims or Victims and of the Civil Party applicant,
-    Contact address of the applicant in Cambodia,
-    Signature or thumbprint of the applicant,
-    All available information related to the crime or crimes alleged by the applicant,
-    (Important) A copy of an identity card (if available) or any other form of identification, and
-    Any documents that support the information the applicant provides, such as a photo of the Victim (if available).

 
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Today: 15 November 2019

Victims Support Section of the ECCC